Who do you think you are? Social networking and your reputation.

It is amazing now how easy it is to connect with a vast array of people using social media. From twitter to facebook, Myspace and even YouTube (other social media sites are available :) )

I use both twitter and facebook regularly and have both a personal page and a business page. My personal page reflects stuff that is happening in my life at any given time. From walking the dog to taking the kids to a theme park. I also use it to ask for help. An example being if anyone can recommend a good plumber, garage or restaurant.

My business page is used to showcase the work I do, the value I add to my clients (and non clients alike) whilst also using it as marketing tool.

What I have noticed over the last year is how my judgements about people I interact with are impacted by their status updates. There are many people who use social media to have a good old moan about anything that is happening in their life. The challenge I have is how it influences my thoughts about these people.

Some will moan about something once in a while and for me this is OK. Others seem to just ALWAYS have bad days.  These can be like those friends we see daily that always seem to be moaning about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Eventually I tend to feel less sympathy and empathy and quietly move away. All of this is done because I am forming an opinion of people by their actions.

Social media allows people to ‘vent’ from the safe space of the keyboard, but at what cost. Every time you update a status on a social media site people will form an opinion of you.

What do you want people to be saying about you? and what are you doing to influence that to happen?

Imagine you have an interview of a job and the interviewer likes what he sees and hears. Later that day whilst surfing facebook, he/she stumbles across your profile out of curiosity and it’s full of negative comments and swearing….

My guess is you have just lost any chance of getting the job.

What about potential clients and customers…they can find out what sort of person you are by what you say on social media.

It’s time to start managing YOUR reputation in an effective way and notice what you are writing BEFORE hitting the submit button. People will buy products and services from people they like, conversely they WON’T buy from from people they dislike.

FOUR WORDS…. You Cannot NOT Communicate…  Everything you do is sending a message to people around you. They form an opinion of you and then behave towards you based on that opinion. If you want to influence people to feel differently about you then start managing your reputation more consciously and effectively.

Social media is a great tool for you and your business BUT like all tools it needs to be used in the right way to make it effective. A hammer is a great tool for banging nails into a wall…but don’t use a hammer to fix a window….

Use social media carefully and effectively to manage your reputation and influence your ‘fans’ & ‘followers’ to say great things about you and your business

Darren Toms is a  personal leadership and motivational coach. His coaching programme is designed to give clients the knowledge skills and attitude to achieve happiness and success in their lives. Check him out over on www.darrentoms.com.  Darren is also a regular on the Networking Mummies Scene from Speed Networking to giving speaker sessions himself, he really is an invaluable tool. This post originally appeared on Darren’s Blog on the 17th August 2010.

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4 Comments

  1. September 27, 2010 / 10:59 am

    Interesting post – I agree it is so interesting how people use these tools in different ways. I have struggled for a while with the Twitter thing – it’s good to let your personality show through but I always try and remember I am communicating with people in my business name.